Taking kids on long haul flights can be daunting so here are some top tips for making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
- Purchase travel insurance at the time of paying for your holiday/air tickets. Babies are a higher risk of cancellation due to fever, ear infection, stomach bug etc.
- Organise an international sim card for phone or speak to your telco about roaming costs.
- Getting to the airport from your home –
a) pre book your transfer with a car seat
b) Airport long-term parking stations offer transport to the terminal, though we suggest dropping children with adults and luggage to terminal first as te driver parks the vehicle at a parking station and returns to the terminal in a shuttle
- Baby Bjorn (pouch) allows free hands for parents to manage passports, luggage, and other toddlers, check in procedures. Handy on board aircraft to settle baby. Allows parents to eat on board with free hands.
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of nappies, food, medicines (all drugs should be discussed with your GP/pediatrician prior to the flight), change of clothes for both child and parents, always pack anything essential in carry on luggage in case of lost checked luggage.
- Pre-book infant/toddler/child meals.
- Pre-book the bassinet for infants, generally maximum 11 kilos weight.
- Pre-book and pay for a seat to buckle the child’s car seat into. This frees the parents up for meal times and gives baby space. You pay a full child rate applicable to the flight.
- It’s preferable to travel on long haul flights when children are either in the pre-crawling or walking stages. It’s very difficult to cope with a crawling baby (average) 6-12 months. Traffic in the aisle is busy and a crawling baby on the ground is dangerous.
- Take their favourite blanket on board.
- Pre-book airport assistance when travelling with 2 or more children. Subject to airline/airport rules.
- Breaking your journey on long haul flights should be discussed as an option. E.g. London Singapore, London Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong Australia.
- At your destination ensure car seats are available or check your car seat in as checked luggage and use on landing. Confirm pick up vehicle able to fit legally and safely.
- Portable DVD players / tablets are a great form of entertainment while travelling.
- Ear Plugs. Pain may be experienced due to pressure changes especially during take off and landing. ‘Ear plugs’ are available from chemists suitable for most children 1 year and older and adults that have a filter that regulates air pressure and cuts down noise.
Speak to your TWK specialist for their personal tips on long haul travel with kids, or find one near you here.